MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Tigers clinch a playoff spot with win over Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS -- Detroit's Austin Jackson smacked a two-run homer, which highlighted a four-run fourth inning, as the Tigers went on to a 4-2 win over the Twins at Target Field last night. Scott Diamond gave up four runs in six-and-a-third innings for Minnesota, which has lost five out of six. Ryan Doumit went 2-for-3 and cracked a solo homer in defeat. Tiger right-hander Doug Fister earned his 14th win of the season giving up two earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven over six and one third innings and Joaquin Benoit got his 23rd save. The win guarantees Detroit will head to the postseason, with no worse than a tie for the Division title and wild card spot if the tie-breaking game is lost. Tonight, the Tigers send Max Scherzer to the hill, while the Twins counter with Kevin Correia.
The Wild begin a home-and-home series with the St. Louis Blues tonight at Xcel Energy Center. The teams will then close out preseason play on Friday in St. Louis. The Wild are 3-and-1 so far in exhibition play following Monday's 2-1 shootout victory in Columbus. The Blues are 2-1-and-1. The Wild reduced their roster to 28 players. Eleven players were assigned to Iowa of the AHL including forward Erik Haula. The team also placed seven players on waivers with the intent of assigning them on Wednesday, including forward Stephane Veilleux. Fans in Iowa can get their first look at the minor league team one week from today during the Green-White Scrimmage at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The Minnesota Lynx will meet the Phoenix Mercury in Game One of the Western Conference Finals tomorrow night at the Target Center. The Lynx swept the Seattle Storm in two games in the opening round to advance. The Mercury knocked off the Los Angeles Sparks in three games to move on.
The Vikings landed in London, England on Tuesday. The team will hold its first practice today as they prepare for their showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Wembley Stadium. Both teams are winless so far this season at 0-and-3. They have split 16 all-time meetings with the Steelers winning the most recent matchup in Pittsburgh in 2009.
Golden Gopher head coach Jerry Kill says he didn't take much solace in the fact his team outscored Iowa in the second half of last year's game in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes had built a 24-0 halftime lead and went on to win 31-13. That meant Minnesota "won" won the second half 13-7. When asked about it, Kill said yesterday that Iowa "kicked our butts for four quarters." He says his team will obviously have to play better when the two clubs meet this weekend in the Twin Cities to open Big Ten play. Minnesota is 4-and-0, while Iowa is 3-and-1. The "Floyd of Rosedale" trophy is on the line. Kickoff on Saturday is 2:30 p.m. University of Minnesota officials say the game is close to a sellout.